(LONDON) — With the news of Iranian President Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash confirmed, Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, will take over with the supreme leader’s approval, based on Article 131 of the Islamic Republic’s constitution.

The article also clarifies that a council consisting of the head of the legislation, the head of the judiciary and the vice president must coordinate choosing a new president within 50 days.

In a statement issued Monday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei applied the article and assented Mokhber as acting president.

“Mr Mokhbar is in the position of managing the executive branch, and he is obliged to arrange with the heads of the legislative and judicial branches to elect a new president within a maximum of fifty days,” the statement said.

The Guardian Council of the country, the body responsible for holding the elections, said that the next president will run the country for four years, not just for the remaining terms of Raisi’s term.

“The elected president in the next election is the president who will begin a 4-year term,” said Hadi Tahan Nazif, spokesperson of the council, according to the official Fars News Agency.

Ibrahim Raisi was elected as the eighth president of the Islamic Republic in the 2021 election.

The vote was marred by a low turnout — which the regime considers a key factor in justifying its legitimacy — with a turnout of 48.8%, the lowest turnout of all presidential elections since the 1979 revolution.

With sensitivities about the succession of 85-year-old Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, who has the ultimate power in the theocratic regime, experts said Raisi’s death may precipitate a crisis for the country’s leadership.

“In Iran’s conspiratorial political culture few will believe Raisi’s death was accidental,” Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment think tank, said on Sunday.

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